What I regret not having known this year

As with most years, there are many things I know now that I wish I had known on January 1st 2013. In tech terms I have known for a long time that certain undeniable truths exist. Windows isn’t perfect (any version), nor is Mac. No matter how fast or wide the broadband pipe you pay for, no matter from whom you buy it, you don’t get what you think you should.

The single most important tech I have embraced this year is Solar PV energy generation, but unless you have it, it’s not exciting or interesting and I would soon enter the boring corner on my feed- in tariff and how much carbon I saved, directing you to my energynote.co.uk site to see my annual analysis. This would not win my prize!

In terms of technology related to my day to day working life, and in relation to this submission, I have known of and used this technology in every version of Windows Server, Client and Exchange Server, amongst others since 2008. I am referring to the beast that is PowerShell. Those of us who take Microsoft Certification tests have met this beast on many occasions and I would guess that most have come off second best. At once the best and worst of all command line interpreters, scripting languages and formal programming languages.

In August of this year I decided I needed to ‘learn PowerShell’, now I am a fairly qualified guy, lots of letters – MCT, MCSE, MCSA, etc. but I had put this task off for so long simply because I anticipated the effort and time involved would be unreasonable.

So what exactly, do I regret not having known at the beginning of this year – Just exactly how wrong I was and how PowerShell can change any administrators life for the better in a very short space of time. First stop should be a two pronged attack Buy Don Jones’ book, PowerShell in a Month of Lunches and enrol on the MOC10961B Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell course.

Whilst waiting for the book to be delivered and for the course to commence. Visit Powershell.org and Powershell.com, finally take a look at Thomas Lee’s PowerShell scripts blog. The point of all this research? Well two-fold really.

To see just how powerful this shell actually is.

To see how much has already been done for you.

Once you understand the syntax, constructs and methods of the shell, you are able to beg steal and borrow anything that does the job and amend it to your own needs. Yes you do have to learn and no it’s not all that easy. But the resources are all there and trust me – it’s fun. I now teach PowerShell courses to beginners and I regret not having knuckled down and done it a long time ago.

The future is bright, the future is PowerShell. Go find out for yourself.

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